Upon the return of controversial San Francisco 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to the starting lineup, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy announced his plan to bring between 15 and 20 local police officers to the game between the two teams today near Buffalo, New York – in a clear message of support and appreciation for law enforcement.
Sitting on the bench for the first several games of the NFL season, Kaepernick was recently named the team’s starting quarterback for the first time this year. The young quarterback with one of the league’s highest salaries – at around $16 million per year – made headlines and spurred an uproar across America beginning during this summer’s preseason, when he started taking a knee during the National Anthem instead of standing in order to protest and draw attention to what he considers racial injustice at the hands of police officers against minorities in the United States.
Not a political statement … just a token of appreciation
Even though McCoy’s gesture sends an opposing message to Kaepernick’s anti-American and anti-cop rant earlier in the season, the African American running back insists that his invitation to more than a dozen police officers is not a direct affront to the racially divisive quarterback from the City by the Bay.
“McCoy said the gesture wasn’t a direct response to Kaepernick’s kneeling protests,” Fox News reports. “He added that he has no problem with his protest. McCoy said that it has yet to be determined whether the officers will come for Sunday’s game or the Oct. 30 game against the New England Patriots.”
The Bills’ running back expressed that he is not looking to add to the controversy – only to extend a sincere gesture of gratitude to the men and women in America who have vowed to protect and serve their fellow citizens while wearing the badge. He indicated that he feels bad for the thousands of police officers who have been wrongly stereotyped as racist as a result of the recent racial confrontations between cops and black men – not to mention the National Anthem controversy spurred by Kaepernick that has overshadowed much of the competition taking place on the gridiron so far this season.
“Just an appreciation type of thing,” McCoy explained. “Cause they’re taking so much heat right now.”
The professional athlete stressed that it is important for Americans to remember that putting every police officer into a racist category is simply not right.
“There’s things that are happening that’s definitely wrong, but I just feel like there’s bad people … there’s bad cops and there’s good cops,” McCoy continued.
McCoy’s charitable foundation was responsible for setting up the plan to bring the police officers to his home field to enjoy the Bills vs. 49’ers game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York – a gesture he said was not motivated by adding more fire to the ongoing Kaepernick controversy that has spurred the scorn of many patriotic, flag-loving and police-supporting Americans.
“I reached out to them,” McCoy stressed. “Like I said, it has nothing to do with Kap or the situation.”
Lifting up, not tearing down
McCoy, who was involved in a brawl with two off-duty police officers outside a nightclub in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, several months ago has no intention of letting his negative experience with cops or the bad portrayal of law enforcement officers seen on television characterize his overall picture of police in his mind.
On the other hand, the Bill’s rushing specialist made it a point to say he has nothing against Kaepernick exercising his right to free speech.
“I think that he might be doing the right thing because everybody’s [got an] opinion … there’s never a wrong opinion,” McCoy reasoned. “I think he’s right for what he’s saying. We need to do something about what’s going on because it is wrong.”
However, the key player in the Bill’s offense implied that pigeon-holing all police officers as perpetrators of social injustice, racial profiling and antagonistic killers of black men is just plain wrong, so he found a way to let Americans know that there are plenty of honorable and commendable cops out there.
“Then again, there’s good people and there’s bad people,” McCoy concluded. “There’s good cops and bad cops. So I’m just trying to show appreciation.”